In April, Tim noticed an enlarged node underneath his right ear. After a visit to his doctor, a CAT scan and a lymph node biopsy, he was diagnosed with Mantle Cell lymphoma, a fairly rare form of lymphoma. It was aggressive and within a few weeks, the right side of his neck was quite enlarged. He also had a PET scan and bone marrow biopsy in which his cancer was classified as Stage IIIA, meaning it had spread to multiple sites and the "A" meant there weren't any physical symptoms. He had enlarged lymph nodes under his arms and in his groin....but thank goodness, none in his organs.
On the advice of his oncologist, we cancelled our planned trip to Ireland and he started his first out-patient chemotherapy treatment (called "R-CHOP") in the Oncology clinic on May 12th. He is receiving an aggressive form of chemotherapy. His second chemotherapy was three weeks later as an in-patient at Fairview Southdale Hospital (this one is called "R-DHAP"). These drugs were infused over a 60-hour period along with maintenance fluids. He came home, but a week later was back in the hospital with a fever fighting an infection...since the drugs kill both the good and the bad white blood cells, he was left in a position where his body could not fight the infection. Fortunately, a few days prior to going into the hospital, he received an injection of a drug that helps the body make new white blood cells and it finally "kicked in" and he was released from the hospital a couple of days later.
The plan is for him to have one more out-patient and then, three weeks later, one more in-patient chemotherapy. Because of the complications he had after the the first in-patient chemotherapy, it will be modified to try and lower the chance of complications. When those treatments are done, he will go to the University of Minnesota Hospital for a consult and a possible stem cell transplant. Our goal is to give him at least 5 to 10 more years and hopefully there will continue to be progress in the treatment of this form of lymphoma that could promise a cure.